Six on Saturday – Making Progress – May 4, 2019

It hit 85 degrees Farenheit on Thursday.  Those kind of temperatures mean I am in the garden in the morning after my yoga class, long pants tucked into my socks to deter deer ticks and a hat to keep the sun off my face. I’m inside by 10.

  1. One of the new trellises by the shed is now twined with a Zephirine Drouhin climbing rose.  This is its third year and it’s finally taking off. It’s hard to see but there are lots of buds. The brand new trellis has been planted with Carolina Jessamine, a climbing yellow jasmine. Both will take some years to cover the trellises, but I was glad to find the jasmine at The Village Market in St. Michaels and get them in the ground. I had to use my Root Slayer shovel to dig the holes as this is close to the river birches we took out last fall and I ran into lots of roots. I am hoping the neighbor’s boat goes in the water soon.

2. I try to give my neighbors a good view. The Major Wheeler honeysuckle is blooming facing their yard not mine. I have to confess that was not the original plan.

3. The ninebark is beginning to bloom. It’s the only dark leafed shrubs I have. They are not my favorite and this one always blended into the shadows of the river birch. It is much more visible now.

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4. Clematis Abilene is covered with open blooms this week.

5. The Roseum Elegans rhododendron survived the winter and is showing off. Some winters I lose most of the buds. After eleven years this is now a decent sized shrub on one corner of the house.

6. Finally a bit of garden housekeeping. The husband helped me add some hose extensions to the drip irrigation system. The timers need to be removed in the winter when we shut the system down and then replaced in the spring. What we really needed were better hose bibs but I had a piece of hose I’d been saving for someday staking a tree and it was enough to cut up and do the three extensions. $36 at the hardware store for the fittings. We had to soften the hose in a pot of boiling water to get the fittings into the hose, but we didn’t have to call a plumber.

That’s my Six on Saturday. There are still more housekeeping chores but we are making progress. This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

 

 

 

 

 

Six on Saturday – Helicopter Wars Begin – April 27, 2019

The husband and I sat on the deck the other night with glasses of wine looking at the millions of helicopter seeds on our large maple trees. The Helicopter Wars are about to begin. The seeds swirl as the float down to lodge themselves in my garden beds, tucked into places I can’t see, waiting to germinate. We had some strong winds last night and the ground is littered this morning, The worst part is that the winged warriors insert themselves into the small crevices between our deck boards. They have to be removed with a putty knife. I do go out with the blower every couple of days. That helps some. But there’s no point in doing much until they are all off the trees. Once that happens we’ll spend time on our butts  getting the deck ready to be cleaned. It’s a yearly chore that I grouse about, but I wouldn’t trade it for my old maples.

Here are my Six on Saturday.

  1. Clematis Abalene is just opening. Hosta Frances Williams is spreading its leaves among the ferns against a backdrop of azaleas.

2. This week I had our handman guy come and put up one new lattice for me. Our wonderful neighbors have parked a boat in their backyard. It will soon go into the water, but after we took down the river birch clump last fall I knew one more lattice was needed in that area. The river birch stump is where I am planning a “feature” made from metal hoops I rescued from rotten barrels. Note: the lattice is level, it’s the boat behind that’s not.

The other lattice is next to the shed. I had white plastic lattices on either side but they required cleaning with a bleach solution every spring so both have been replaced with wood. Another chore now off my list. These will weather to silver gray. I gathered up the climbing rose and tied it together with twine so it wouldn’t be damaged while the new lattice went in. It is now tied to the new lattice. (no photo)

3. This shrub is in the front of the replaced lattice by the shed. It was here when we moved and has always been an evergreen place holder. It was under water most of the winter and is looking very bad. However the limbs are still pliable which tells me it may come back. I am going to cut it back by a third and see if it comes back.

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4. This is happening in one of my raised beds. A yellow mullein I raised from seed last year is getting ready to bloom. I didn’t realize it was a biennial. It better be spectacular or it won’t have been worth the wait. The other photo is an opening allium Schubertii that makes a huge head. I used to have many more but the squirrels must have dined on them.

5. A year ago a friend and I talked about trying gardening in a straw bale. She got two bales and planted an herb garden in hers. The other bale has lived in the back of her truck – out in the weather – since then. I didn’t have any way to get it to my house and I guess she didn’t need her truck until this week. The bale is well rotted and now I have to figure out what to plant in it.

In front of the orange flowers (what are these? they come back every year) are some yellow potatoes. Clearly I never get all of them out of the ground because a few come back every spring. I was wondering if I could lift them out and plant them in the bale. Anyone have any suggestions?

Oh, and the old wheelbarrow I painted purple is no more. It was settling into the ground so I pulled it out and the husband took it apart for me. I had two knockout roses that I’d stuck in another area of the garden where they didn’t get enough sun and put them in that area.

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6. Seedlings I started on a heat mat inside have been put in larger pots and are now living outside in a sheltered area until they can be put in the raised beds. The blue bucket  is full of cuttings of red twig dogwood that I’m rooting to fill in the swampy area of the bed that was under water all winter. The red twigs that were there didn’t seem to mind the wet conditions.

That’s my Six on Saturday. The garden is looking lovely. I am astonished that a month ago I was wondering if anything had come through the winter. This meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener.  This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.

 

Six on Saturday: Azaleas and Clematis Take the Stage

We had some torrential downpours which flattened many of the bearded iris. That’s a shame, but we needed the rain. I was out early in the week taking some photos and am glad I did. We have now had close on five days of almost solid rain (over 16″) and things are getting beaten up.  Despite the weather, the azaleas and clematis are taking center stage and I will have azaleas blooming until the end of June.

  1. My favorite azalea is Martha Hitchcock. It layers easily so I have propogated multiple plants that are now through out my garden. This is a lovely place to sit unless the wren nesting in the bird house above the bench gets upset. Another wren built a nest in a pot turned on its side on top of the woodpile which is under roof. I don’t know if these are house wrens or Carolina wrens. I’m no better with bird names than I am with plant names. And birds don’t sit still while I consult my bird book.

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2. Clematis Abilene. The perennial orchid below the clematis was given to me by a gardening friend for my May birthday several years ago. I don’t know the name, but I think it is a native. It has colonized enough that I will have some to share. The color of the orchid mimics the color in the clematis and the strappy foliage adds a different texture when both are through blooming. A happy coincidence. You can see more azaleas behind the clematis blooms.

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3. Azalea Rosebud: My high school boyfriend gave my mother this cultivar as a gift when she was first beginning to propogate azaleas. So ever after it was known, in our family, as Rosebud Don Park. None of my other boyfriends — or husbands for that matter — ever got an azalea named for them by my mother.

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4. I bought this clematis on a Green Thumb bus trip. I searched to see if I had been smart enough to stick the tag in the ground, but I couldn’t find it. It is the palest of blue fading to white. The flowers are six inches across. This is climbing on an obelisk on the edge of my azalea garden. Honestly, this photo is just flower porn.

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5. Another nameless clematis is now blooming on one of the trellises at the back of the garden near the shed. These SoS posts are going to shame me into keeping better records. It looks sort of purple where the sun is hitting it, but it is a deep true blue.

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6. False Cypress Lemon Thread: the plant in the foreground in this photo was given to me last week by the same friend who gave me the native orchids in #2 above. She said it would grow 5-6′ tall and 6-8′ wide. I wondered where I could put something that would get that big. I did a little research and those sizes are what it might grow to in thirty years. It will be someone else’s problem long before then.

I found a spot where it will give me a lemon pop when nothing else is demanding attention. The location gets morning sun and then dappled shade through the river birch clump. I’ve learned not to plant dark foliage in the shade where it is difficult to see in the shadows.

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That’s my Six on Saturday for this week. The meme was started by The Propogator, a UK gardener. This is the link to the rules if you’d like to join in.